Preserving the Media of the World's Most Advanced Martial Art.


The Punch Starts from the Heart. 
by Michel Boulet

When I was a beginner, this saying had a simple meaning to me: The punch starts from a certain fixed position in front of my chest. It was a technical thing; I also thought that SLT was a techniques list or dictionary, useful mainly to develop good positioning and memorizing motions.

I was happy with this knowledge until I started having questions about the real value of the forms. "Why do we have to refrain from any type of tensions during the practice of the very basic aspect of the system?" Wing Chun is a pugilistic art designed to deliver powerful blows to an enemy and yet we have to practice a slow curious looking exercise as the core of the art. This seems to make no sense, as it apparently provides nothing in terms of "training" when we think about a fighting style or art. Why not simply forget all about this loss of times and start doing the boxing routine?

I played with the contradiction for some times but I had to come to a valid

Conclusion: Wing Chun is a soft style…it was designed as an "internal" art.

The punch starts from the heart business really means that it should be driven by the mind/intent of the practitioner. Heart= interior. The whole thing about practicing SLT is to develop a mind/body link. It also became clear that the very name of the form; "small idea" had to mean "The practice of constant control of the motions, using awareness". It is impossible to accomplish this task while thinking about something else.

I firmly believe that all Wing Chun practitioners would find great benefits from the simple practice of relaxing and putting their consciousness in the motions. It is not easy and it takes some dedication just to be able to keep the mind from jumping around for a few seconds at first. Like everything else it takes practice but what a revelation it is when we feel how it is to do something with the awareness added. After some times, the motions are stronger and the flow is better. The body has a way to conduct energy when relaxed and the perceptions seem to be faster, or is it that the training partner is getting slower and more predictable? ;-)

I don’t think it should be considered as a "faith" thing also. The so-called "internal training" is not about religion. It is just about putting the mind and the body at work on the same project. I hope that all Wing Chun people believe that they possess a mind and that it is a big part of their being. It is also an animal most of the times and it needs to be tamed.

Learn to put it to work during the forms practice and enjoy the benefits

Michel Boulet 

Yip Man -> Ho Kam Ming -> Augustine Fong -> Patrick Gordon -> Michael Boulet
About the Author:   Michel Boulet believes that the real mastery of Wing Chun is a life long endeavor, he maintains a humble and open attitude toward his art and does his best in giving his students as much personal attentions as possible, keeping nothing for himself.

Copyright (c) 2006 the Wing Chun Archive and Michel Boulet 3/4/06 

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